Three police officers and a civilian were on Thursday injured when a police helicopter crashed near Mathare, Nairobi.
The 15-seater helicopter, registration number 5Y-NPS and acquired in April this year at a cost of Sh683 million, was on routine patrol when it crashed at the National Youth Service (NYS) engineering institute.
Aboard were Inspector Martin Ndungu, Inspector Dennis Otom Oduk, Constable Michael Kariuki Mutwota and a foreigner.
The foreigner, according to the police headquarters, was from the Italian company AugustaWestland, which supplied the chopper, while Constable Mutwota was the aircraft’s technician.
Nairobi County police commander Japheth Koome said the helicopter was on normal aerial patrol when it developed a mechanical problem.
"The aircraft was on normal surveillance when it developed problems. We cannot tell the cause of the accident. The pilot had put all efforts to land in the field where there are no people. No other casualties besides the four," he said.
An NYS officer said avionic students from the institute turned off relevant switches to prevent it from bursting into flames.
The passengers were rushed to the GSU headquarters health centre before being transferred to another hospital for specialised treatment.
Mr Koome added that they were in a stable condition.
This is the second crash of an aircraft reported today, following an earlier crash in Naivasha involving a light plane.
The earlier accident occurred at Sanctuary Farm. A Kenya Red Cross officer at the scene said one person on the plane died while five passengers suffered injuries.
The Naivasha OCPD says the aircraft was airborne for less than five minutes.
Police have enhanced both ground and aerial patrols in Nairobi and its environs ahead of the Jubilee Party launch at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday.
At least 10,000 delegates are expected to attend.
"We have now secured the area. Normal patrols will, however, continue as we have more choppers," the police boss added.
The AW139 helicopter is suitable for, among other things, search and rescue and maritime patrol.
It has forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras that enable a pilot to manoeuvre at night and in a foggy condition.
Edited by Philip Momanyi